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Low self esteem

Most of us will experience times where we may be lacking in confidence and find it hard to feel good about ourselves. Your self esteem is how you see yourself, a healthy self esteem will be positive and help you feel good about yourself, whereas unhealthy self esteem is when we tend to concentrate and be critical about what we think is negative about ourselves. Low self esteem can make us less motivated to do things.

Low self esteem reflects a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth, it is how they see themselves to be.  This can be defined by one event, or over a period of weeks, months and years. Low self esteem is usually identified by negative feelings about yourself which lead to negative thoughts such as…

“I’m rubbish at this.”

“I’m ugly!”

“They’re better than me.”

“Nobody likes me.”

These kind of feelings can be really difficult to live with.  They can leave you feeling sad, lonely and isolated.

Often these negative thoughts have no real evidence other than the individual’s belief which has built over a period of time.  Some of these beliefs come from statements you may have heard when you were younger such as:

“You’ve got that wrong, your doing it wrong, or why can’t you do that better.”

“Wow, your friend is really pretty…”

“Aren’t they really good at football?”

“I really like hanging out with those people over there.”


It is important to challenge these negative views of yourself in order to build your self esteem.  Coping with low self esteem on your own can be very difficult.  Because your point of view is already negative, it needs a more objective view of a trusted adult or parent/carer.

Beginning to build your self esteem is important. Try a daily list of positive things about yourself.  You may find this difficult at first, so ask people you trust to say one positive thing about you.

Young Minds Crisis Messenger offers free 24/7 support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. Text YM to 85258